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PIL in Kerala HC questions exorbitant bills issued by KSEB to domestic consumers during lockdown

ANI | Updated: Jun 16, 2020 04:57 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], June 16 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Kerala High Court questioning the exorbitant bills issued by Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to its domestic consumers for the coronavirus lockdown period.
The PIL was filed by Vinay Kumar MC of Thrikkalathoor in Muvattupuzha through advocate Mathew A Kuzhalnadan.
The PIL seeks a court directive to KSEB to introduce a monthly billing system as well as to take average consumption as consumption during the months of March, April, and May and spread the rest over the following months.

It is alleged in the PIL that, ''the bi-monthly billing system is forcing consumers to pay more as compared to a monthly billing system. As per the fixed slab rates for energy charges, a consumer who used up to 250 units of electricity in a month is entitled to be billed at a telescopic rate. Non-telescopic rates are applicable for those who use more than 250 units in a month. In issuing bi-monthly bills, KSEB used to take average of total consumption upto the reading date in order to fix usage for a month. The said formula used by KSEB for bi-monthly billing is forcing consumers to pay more amounts when compared to monthly-billing system.''
Though the system adopted by KSEB is beneficial to consumers who use electricity at a low level, a large number of domestic consumers are forced to pay charges at a higher slab rate, the petition stated.
Further, the petitioner has alleged that the bi-monthly billing system and the formula adopted by KSEB is not either approved or recognized by Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is necessary under Kerala Electricity Supply Code, 2014.
During the current month, bills are being issued by KSEB after a period of 76 days after adopting the bi-monthly billing system and formula, forcing large number of consumers to pay higher bills, the PIL stated while seeking the court's intervention. (ANI)